MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Earlier this week people were counting the hours it took to get through the line for a COVID-19 vaccine but Saturday at the Pipkin building it only took minutes.
The Shelby County Health Department said they’ve vastly improved the process.
This week, people in Shelby County told WMC they’ve waited three, four and even five hours or more to get their COVID-19 vaccine.
Saturday the process was drastically different with hardly any line or wait at all.
“Today was just amazing,” said Bruce Reed, a healthcare worker. “Thank you health department, they got it together!”
“This is awesome I mean we were in and out in about 20 minutes,” said Phyllis Adams, who took her mother to get the vaccine.
“Did you have to wait at all? No! Other than to fill out the paperwork,” said Sandra Houston, a caregiver who received the vaccine.
The Shelby County Health Department said they’ve ramped up screening at the beginning of the vaccine process and are no longer allowing anyone to lineup more than an hour before their appointment time.
“They stopped me at the booth and asked me for the confirmation and I was impressed. From start to finish,” said Houston.
“It’s been perfect they are so well organized,” said Adams.
Those steps, along with increased and reassigned staff, more signage and refined use of the VaxQue waitlist are credited with decreasing long wait times.
Velma Spencer got her vaccine Saturday after trying three separate times during the week.
“As I’m driving home today I get a phone call and it says can you get over the Pipkin building right now? They’ll take you. So here I am it took me all of 10 minutes and I’m just overjoyed,” said Velma Spencer.
People who received their vaccine on Saturday said they hope this means the Shelby County Health Department has the process figured out.
“They’re doing better, I’m impressed,” said Bruce Reed. “Do you hope it keeps up this way? I hope it keeps up and increases because we really need to increase the number of people that are being vaccinated.”
The Shelby County Health Department said there’s no projected date at this time for a move into the next phase of vaccinations with many people still left in the 1a1 and 1a2 groups.
The Health Department said they will be announcing how to sign up for vaccine appoints in February early next week.